Biden, Harris to break out of COVID 'bubble' with international trips
By Brett Samuels - 06/05/21 07:04 AM EDT
President Biden and Vice President Harris will embark in the coming days on their first international trips since taking office, and since the pandemic started.
While both are vaccinated, giving them significant protection against the coronavirus, some additional precautions are still expected to be put in place as they leave the U.S., where vaccination rates are far higher than most other countries.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows more than 63 percent of American adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and slightly more than 50 percent of the population has gotten at least one dose.
“The U.S., we’ve been in a bubble with our vaccinations. We’re among the world’s leaders,” said Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University. “We’re getting back to normal, so we’re in a bubble and we don’t realize the rest of the world isn’t in the bubble with us.”
The countries Harris and Biden will be visiting have lagged in the manufacture, distribution and administration of vaccines. The contrast will likely lead to some additional health precautions for the president and vice president, and their travel will coincide with the start of U.S. efforts to more aggressively provide vaccine doses to the rest of the world.